By Jorge Casuso
October 3, 2023 -- A monthly poll of "civically engaged" Santa Monica residents found that most do not plan to get the latest COVID-19 booster shot being pushed by LA County Health officials.
Taken between September 27 and October 1, the Santa Monica Pulse poll of about 150 residents also found that a near majority believe increasing security at public parks will help reduce an entrenched homeless population.
A near majority also would support a State ballot measure to overturn California housing laws that allow multiple units in single-family neighborhoods.
Asked if they planned to get the COVID booster shot rolled out last month, 55 percent said no, while 33 percent said yes. Six percent said they had already received a booster, while another 6 percent were not sure.
The results reflect those of a nationwide poll taken last month that found more than half of U.S. adults don't plan to get the updated booster vaccine.
The survey conducted by KFF, a San Francisco-based “independent source for health policy research, polling and news,” polled 1,296 adults online and by telephone from September 6 to 13.
LA County began aggressively pushing the new COVID-19 boosters two weeks ago amid insurance snags, supply delays and resistance from a more skeptical public ("County Health Pushes Boosters But Faces Hurdles," September 22, 2023).
With a daily average of four COVID-related deaths and 542 hospitalizations in the County of more than 10 million reported last week the current push could be difficult.
Public Health officials -- who expect cases, deaths and hospitalizations to increase between November 1 and January 1 -- said the County will offer the vaccine at more than 1,000 sites over the next few weeks.
The Pulse poll also asked residents to weigh in on the City's efforts to "increase police patrols in public parks and install cameras to monitor activity."
Asked if they believed the efforts "will help reduce homelessness in city parks in the long term," 47 percent said yes, 30 percent said no, while 24 percent were not sure.
The City's efforts -- outlined in a report to the City Council last month -- also include cleaning up encampments in public parks frequented by the homeless ("Santa Monica Boosts Efforts to Tackle Homeless Problem in Parks," September 19, 2023).
The City is focusing its efforts on Palisades Park, Tongva Park and especially Reed Park in the Downtown area, which have been the subject of longstanding complaints from neighboring residents and visitors.
The poll also gauged support for a proposed measure that could appear on the 2024 ballot to overturn two state laws that rezone single-family-only housing to allow for the development of duplexes and quadplexes.
Forty-seven percent of the respondents support the measure, whose sponsors are currently circulating petitions, who 36 percent oppose it and 18 percent are not sure.
As with previous polls, the latest Santa Monica Pulse poll was sent to nearly 1,000 residents who "previously opted in to receive more information on education efforts surrounding crime and safety in their city." It had a 15 percent response rate.
The poll is conducted by Eyes on 11, a hotel union watchdog. Those who wish to be included in the next poll should email their name and cell phone number to SaMoPulse@gmail.com.